Apart from the iconic voice, Liam Gallagher definitely has the talent to rise from the ashes every single time. After the notorious split of Oasis in 2009, the legendary frontman almost straight away came back onstage with his new band, Beady Eye. And yet, the following breakup of Beady Eye in 2014 resulted in a long hiatus. We haven’t heard from Liam for three years, and many have probably assumed that the rock icon won’t make a comeback ever again. Still, in 2017 Liam surprised everyone by releasing his debut solo album As You Were to huge critical acclaim and returning to what he does best – singing. Why Me, Why Not became a brilliant follow-up this year.
In a new exclusive interview with Stack magazine, Liam talks about his plans for the next record, his attitude to work and holding true to his own iconic style and values.
Just as usual, Liam appears at his confident and unapologetic best. He’s clearly proud of his new album, thinking every song on it has its place.
“I think this record is a classic, but obviously it won’t please everyone. But I believe a lot of people will like it, and as time goes down, it will be classed as a classic. If Oasis released a record like this, in this day and age, I know people would be going apeshit for it, so I think it’s a good one – we’ll see how we go”.
Not only has Liam been making excellent music recently after all the long years of silence, he has also brought out two albums in two years. These days such productivity is a very rare phenomenon, especially since Oasis used to take much longer breaks between records. Liam, on the other hand, seems full of drive and enthusiasm. He admits his work ethic has significantly improved because he feels he has a lot of catching up to do.
“Music-wise, Oasis shouldn’t have split up, so that gives me the hump when I think about it. Beady Eye shouldn’t have happened at all, even though I’m glad we still made some good records. And then there was four years of not making a record, so that gives me the hump! And there’s people out there who go around spreading malicious rumours, saying my work ethic is the reason why Oasis split up, that I’m too lazy. But I was born to make music and I’m going to do it forever”.
Liam indeed lives up to the expectations: as soon as his second solo album hit the shelves, he’s already started thinking of the follow-up.
“As soon as the first record came out, I thought I was happy with it, and if it goes well, I’ll definitely do another one. If it doesn’t do well, there’s no point, really. But since we were getting some good reviews and the fans were into it, we were already thinking about the next one. I’ll definitely make another record too. Obviously, you need a bit of a break to get out of people’s faces, because they would think you’re showing off then. You know what it’s like over here in England: the worm can turn at any given point. But I won’t be having four years off. I want to keep making music: there’s nothing else to do, is there?”
Much to his brother Noel’s contempt, Liam has collaborated with the renowned songwriters Andrew Wyatt and Greg Kurstin. Meanwhile, the rock icon takes his chance to once again stress his main work principle: stick to the formula that already works well.
“I’m probably the easiest person they’ve ever worked with, because I just want to keep making the same kind of music. I’m not going to switch genres, because I’m just about good songs. With this last album, we did six songs in a week. Then we had a bit of time off and went back to do a bit more. So it all works pretty easy. I’d never felt like that before, even with Oasis. It was a joy though – I was the first one in the studio and the last one out. I’ve always taken being in the studio as fun. I’ve always had this attitude. Noel thinks he’s curing cancer or stopping the Ice Age or air pollution! I’m just going there to make some fucking music”.
Nevertheless, despite all Liam’s enthusiasm about recording new hits in the studio, he’d prefer playing live anytime. The rock icon is well-known for his ability to put on a great show for fans from all backgrounds and generations.
“Without a doubt, playing live is where it’s at for me. If I had to choose between being in the studio or playing live, it would be playing live. Being out on stage in front of the kids and all that, this is the one for me”.
Meanwhile, Liam appreciates the Oasis legacy and even admits to being the biggest Oasis’s fan. Since Oasis hits take up most of his typical setlist, we’re not surprised.
“Oasis songs have been around for 20 or 25 years now, and as a band we meant a lot to people. So the fans are going to keep going round in cycles, and I’m lucky we’re still here to reap the benefits of it. There are a lot of bands that have passed away and never got that opportunity, like Kurt Cobain. I mean even the Beatles, although McCartney’s reaping the benefits now. So I think we’re lucky that we’re still benefitting from that”.
Ten years following the split of Oasis, Liam openly talks about how much the band meant to him and how he determined he is to stick to the style that has made him famous in the first place.
“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about Oasis, but I don’t have pictures of the band on the wall. I can always flick back to it, but I’m always reminded of Oasis by people. I’m Oasis’s biggest fan as well, so yeah, I’m proud we did what we did”.
The interviwer switches the topic to Liam’s new solo album. In comparison with its predecessor, Why Me Why Not features considerably more strings. Liam admits it wasn’t his idea, though. Meanwhile, he willingly talks about the immense influence of the Beatles on his new record.
“The strings weren’t really my influence. I think everyone does that on their second album, don’t they? They always kind of bang out the strings. But these songs blended into it, and the whole record is a bit more cinematic”.
The interviewer asks the rock legend about his own personal favourite on the album. Well, Liam doesn’t take long to reply.
“Once is my favourite on the record, and I love singing it. There’s also a song called Halo which is mega, sort of like the Stones. And yeah, there’s Meadow too, also mega. By the way, Alright Now is another standout. It’s got a real Lennon vibe, and that’s the kind of music I’ll always make. I’m not one of them people that are pushing the boundaries to make new, far-out music. That ain’t for me. I like Shockwave, even though it’s a bit 70s glam rock, but it’s still a tune. I like all of them songs, man”.
Liam has only just started touring with The Who, sharing the stage with the idols of his youth. Now he’s shared his way of picking the perfect setlist.
“I probably play five songs off As You Were, five from the new one and then fill the rest with Oasis. That’d be about a 20-song setlist. Now, you know me: I don’t like to hang about too long, so maybe I’ll rattle out about 17. So maybe seven Oasis songs then. I don’t like staying on stage for too long. I feel like sometimes you can outstay your welcome on stage. A perfect set for me is an hour and 15 minutes, tops”.
Performing with The Who isn’t the only surprise Liam has for us. Recently the rock icon hinted at the possibility of him performing at Knebworth next year. Would the legendary frontman repeat the phenomenal success of Oasis in 1996, but this time solo?
“Yeah, I’m up for that, mate! But I didn’t say I was playing Knebworth Park though! I’m playing in a pub around the corner called The Angel”.
Not that ambitious a plan, then. But does he even feel the need for ambition now? These days Liam feels he’s finally in the right place and is looking into the future with hope and optimism.
“I’m very happy these days. I’ve got my kids, my missus, and everyone in my life is all happy, we’re all having a good time. Thev wolf at the door seems to have fucked off and gone to somebody else’s house”.
Good for Liam then. Among all the sellouts and the boring modern music, Liam proudly stands out like a beacon of hope for Rock’n’Roll. Why him? And why not?
Source: the Stack magazine